RCC Honors History Project

Constitution of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

Posted by nrohr on March 21, 2009

Constitution of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (1945)

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

From: Warren D. St. James. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: A Case Study in Pressure Groups, p. 172-180.

ARTICLE I

Name

The name of this Association shall be the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Membership

1. Any person may become and remain a member of this Association with the consent of the Board of Directors, by accepting membership in writing under and in accordance with this Constitution and by paying annually in advance a membership fee of at least One Dollar ($1.00).

2. The Board of Directors shall have power to create such classes of membership as it may deem desirable and may issue appropriate certificate of membership to persons entitled thereto.

ARTICLE II

Board of Directors

1. The Association shall have a Board of Directors not exceeding forty-eight (48) members. The control and government of the Association shall be vested in the Board of Directors who shall exercise all such powers and do all such acts and things as may be exercised or done by the Association, except as otherwise specifically provided.

2. The present Directors shall continue to serve for the terms for which they were elected, and thereafter sixteen Directors shall be elected annually (by ballot by the Association) as hereinafter provided for a term of three years and until their successors are chosen. Any vacancy occurring during the year may be filled by the Board of Directors for the unexpired term.

3. Election of Board of Directors: The said Association shall have a Nominating Committee consisting of seven (7) members of the Association; three (3) to be elected by the delegates to the annual convention; three (3) to be elected annually by the Board of Directors from its own members; and the Chairman of the Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee shall submit to the Secretary not later than October 1 of each year nominations for all vacancies to be filled on the Board of Directors. The Secretary shall forthwith send to all branches and have published in the next issue of The Crisis, or other official organ of the Association, the said report of the Nominating Committee. In the event that no annual convention is held in any year the members elected by the convention delegates to the preceding annual convention shall serve on the Nominating Committee until the next annual convention.

Independent nominations may be made by petitions signed by not less than thirty (30) members of the Association in good standing by filing the same with the Secretary not later than November 1 of each year. The Secretary shall send to each Branch of the Association, not later than November 15 of each year, a ballot containing the nominations of the Nominating Committee, plus the nominations by independent petition. Each Branch at its annual meeting shall by vote of the members present make its choices for members of the Board of Directors. The said choices shall be marked upon the ballot submitted by the Secretary and the said ballot shall be signed by the president and secretary of the Branch and must be returned to the national office not later than December 31 of each year. The said ballots shall be held by the Secretary in a safe place until the annual meeting.

At each annual meeting the said ballots shall be opened by a committee selected at said annual meeting and counted on the following basis:

Any ballot or ballots containing the name or names of any persons for election to the said Board not nominated in accordance with this Constitution shall be void.

ARTICLE III

Officers

1. The officers of the Association shall consist of a President, Chairman of the Board of Directors, such vice-presidents as the Board of Directors may elect, a Treasurer, a Secretary, and such other officers as the Board of Directors from time to time may designate and elect. The said officers shall be elected by the Board of Directors as soon after the annual meeting as the new Board can conveniently convene for the purpose.

2. The President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, and Chairman of the Board of Directors shall be elected for a term of one year; all other officers shall be elected for a term of one year, unless the Board of Directors shall by resolution passed at the time of the particular election order otherwise. Any vacancy in office may be filled by the Board of Directors for the unexpired term.

3. The President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, and Chairman of the Board of Directors shall take office immediately after their election, and they shall serve their respective terms of office computed from the day of said election or until their respective successors shall be elected and shall qualify.

4. The Board of Directors may from time to time employ such executive officers as it deems necessary.

ARTICLE IV

Duties of Officers

1. The President of the Association shall perform such functions and exercise such duties as may be voted by the Board of Directors. He shall preside at all meetings of the Association, and in the absence of the Chairman of the Board, at all meetings of the Board of Directors. He shall be ex officio member of all committees.

2. The Vice-Presidents shall perform such functions and exercise such duties as may be voted by the Board of Directors.

3. The Chairman of the Board of Directors shall hereafter between meetings of the Board have general control and supervision of the Association, with full authority over all officers and employees of the Association, subject to such limitations as the Board may from time to time impose. He shall preside at all meetings of the Board and shall appoint all committees of the Association not elected directly by the Board. He shall be ex officio member of all committees.

4. The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of the Association and shall have general charge of its fiscal affairs. He shall receive regular reports on the finances of the Association from all divisions, branches, departments and bureaus thereof, and shall inspect the books and audit the accounts thereof, from time to time. He shall render to the Board of Directors at their regular meetings, or whenever they require, an account of his transaction as Treasurer and shall submit a report of the financial condition of the Association at its annual meetings.

5. The Secretary shall have charge of the general secretarial work of the Association. He shall coordinate and integrate the work of the several divisions, branches, departments, and bureaus, and shall aid and cooperate in the work of all committees. He shall submit reports to the Board of its regular meetings, or whenever it requires, covering the state of the Association and its activities since the date of his last report. He shall make an annual report covering the status of the Association and its activities. He shall perform such other functions and exercise such further duties as may be assigned him by the said Board.

6. In the absence of any officer or employee, or for any other reason that may be deemed sufficient, the Board of Directors may delegate such officer’s or employee’s powers and duties to any other officer or employee, or to any director for the time being.

ARTICLE V

Committees

1. The Board of Directors may create such standing or special committees in addition to those prescribed herein as it considers advisable to carry out any purposes connected with the work of the Association.

2. Salaried officers and staff members shall be eligible for committee assignment, except on committees dealing with personnel and employment.

ARTICLE VI

deem advisable to carry out the objects for which the Association was created.

ARTICLE VII

Branches

The Board of Directors may create Branches, Youth Councils, College Chapters, and such other units of the Association in such places and under such conditions as it sees fit. Each of the above shall be administered under a charter granted to it by the National Board of Directors of the Association and in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws authorized by said Board of Directors.

ARTICLE VIII

Meetings of Directors

1. Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held on the second Monday of each month unless such Monday be a holiday, in which event the meeting of that month shall be held on the first business day thereafter; except that the regular meeting in January in each year shall be held on the same day as the annual meeting.

2. A special meeting of the Board of Directors may be called by any officer of the Association upon the written request of any three (3) members of the Board. The object of such meeting shall be stated in the notice therefor and the business transacted in the meeting shall be limited to the object so stated.

3. The Secretary shall give the members of the Board seven (7) days notice in writing of its regular meetings and three (3) days notice of any special meeting of the Board.

4. Six (6) members of the Board shall be necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, except to adjourn.

ARTICLE IX

Conventions

The Association shall have an annual convention to be held at the time and place determined by the preceding convention. The annual convention of the Association shall have power to establish policies and programs of action for the ensuing year. All actions of the convention on the question of policy and program, which are not contrary to this Constitution, shall be binding on the Board of Directors, officers, branches and other subordinate units of the Association except as hereinafter provided; no proposal for change of policy or program of action shall be in order unless it shall have been submitted by a branch in good standing to the Secretary at least sixty (60) days prior to the annual convention and published in the Bulletin or The Crisis prior to the annual convention; action of the convention pertaining to policy or program of action shall be valid only if passed during the last two days of the convention. All action of the convention on matters of policy and program of action shall be considered by the Board of Directors at its next regular meeting and if the Board expresses its disapproval by two-thirds vote of member of Board present and voting, the matter shall then be submitted to the youth council and college branches for final action; each branch shall vote on said matter and notify the Secretary of such action within thirty days of receipt of same and action of branches shall be counted by the use of the scale of voting set out in Article II, Section 3.

2. Representation of Branches at the annual conventions shall be on the following basis

Representation shall be on the basis of membership as recorded in the national office thirty (30) days prior to the opening date of each convention. All voting at conventions must be by delegates present and may not be exercised by proxy.

Each Branch is entitled to a number of alternate delegates equal to the number of voting delegates. Alternate delegates shall be permitted to vote in place of absent voting delegates.

3. Delegates to the annual convention shall be elected by the Branches at their regular monthly meetings prior to the convention.

4. Delegates must present to the convention a certificate of election as delegate signed by the president and secretary of the Branch. Blank forms for certificates and duplicate certificates must be furnished by the National Office. A duplicate of all such certificates must be returned to the national office and the original thereof presented to the convention.

5. Convention Committees: During the first regular session of the convention the following committees shall be elected by the delegates:

A. Resolutions B. Credentials C. Time and Place D. Rules

A. The Committee on Resolutions: Shall take charge of all resolutions referred to them and report thereupon to the convention with proper recommendations.

B. The Committee on Credentials: Shall examine and report upon the credentials of all delegates to the convention.

C. The Committee on Time and Place: Shall take charge of all invitations for next annual convention and report its recommendations to the convention.

D. The Committee on Rules will, with the Constitution and Robert’s Rules or Order as its guide, recommend to the convention rules for the government of the convention while in session.

The duties of the foregoing committees shall expire with the adjournment of each convention.

ARTICLE X

Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Association shall be held on the first Monday in January in each year unless such Monday be a holiday, in which event the meeting of that year shall be held on the first business day thereafter, at such time and place as the Board of Directors may determine. The presence of twenty- five (25) members in good standing shall be necessary to constitute a quorum.

ARTICLE XI

Limitation of Liability

No division, Branch, department, bureau, or unit of the Association shall have authority or power to impose or incur financial liability on the part of the Association without the express authorization of the Board of Directors, first obtained in writing in advance.

ARTICLE XII

Order of Business

Unless altered or suspended at any meeting by a majority vote of the members present, the following shall be the order of business at the meetings of the Association, the Board of Directors, or any division, Branch, department, bureau or unit of the Association:

Roll Call, or ascertainment of members present Reading of Minutes of previous meeting Reports of officers Reports of Committees Elections Unfinished business New Business

Rules of procedure as laid down in Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern such proceeding except as otherwise provided.

ARTICLE XIII

Amendments

1. This Constitution may be amended by a unanimous vote of all members of the Board of Directors present at a regular meeting or a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the Board of Directors present at two (2) successive meetings, regular or special, notice of the proposed change or changes to be sent out with the notices of the meetings.

2. An amendment proposed by a majority of the paid-up members of a Branch in good standing must be voted upon by the Board.

ARTICLE XIV

Schedule

This Constitution becomes effective when adopted.

Adopted July 7,

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